If you saw Wyatt Lippert after his victorious state title match, you had to notice his cell phone wasn’t too far away. The West Chester Lakota West junior estimated he received upward of
20 text messages and e-mails after he won the Division I state singles
title May 31 at Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center.
If you saw Wyatt Lippert after his victorious state title match, you had to notice his cell phone wasn’t too far away.
The West Chester Lakota West junior estimated he received upward of 20 text messages and e-mails after he won the Division I state singles title May 31 at Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center.
“I got a lot more than I sent out,” Lippert said a few days after the tournament. “It was truly overwhelming, but I knew something like that would happen.”
So it wasn’t surprising when Lippert, who was third at state the past two seasons, received a warm welcome back in West Chester from friends, classmates and school officials.
“People were just shaking my hand and said congratulations,” Lippert said. “There are a lot of cool people at West. (But) I can’t let (the state title) go to my head.”
It doesn’t seem likely that would happen to Lippert, the Huntington Bank/Ohio High Magazine Boys Tennis Player of the Year.
“Wyatt is not just the most talented player I’ve ever been associated with but he is one of the highest character human beings,” Lakota West coach Mike Mueller said.
Lippert knew he would have an opportunity this season after the graduation of former multiple state champion Matt Allare of Kings Mills Kings. Allare now plays for Ohio State.
“State title or no state title, Lakota West is very fortunate to have athletes like Wyatt Lippert,” Lakota West athletic director Gerry Weisgerber said. “He is such a hard worker. He is respectful to others and he does things the right way.”
It was the first individual tennis title, male or female, in Lakota District history.
Lippert finished the season with a singles record of 31-1 and became just the fifth Lakota West athlete to win an individual state title.
“We are very proud of Wyatt for all that he has accomplished,” Weisgerber said. “Finishing third his first two years was outstanding enough, but when he won the state title this year, I’m sure it was a special moment for him and his family. He always represents Lakota West well.”
While Lippert knows he won’t forget the title, he is eager to start the several tournaments he will compete in across the country this summer.
“I am going to keep working and just pretend like it’s a regular year,” said Lippert, who defeated New Albany junior and good friend Peter Kobelt 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the state final. “I am going to definitely keep working hard.”
The 16-year-old Lippert, who will turn 17 on July 24, said there is always room for improvement. He wants to play in college and turn pro one day.
“I want to work on my serve and make my first serve a little more consistent and harder,” Lippert said. “I want to work on my backhand returns and just work on everything overall.”
Lippert said he will have an extensive workout regiment that includes weightlifting and running this summer. All of those workouts should bode well for next spring when he will have an opportunity to defend his title.
“I’m not surprised at all that Lippert won (this spring) – he is in a class by himself,” Cincinnati Sycamore coach Mike Teets said.
During the summer tournaments, the newly-crowned state champion will certainly catch the attention of college coaches, who can begin speaking with him July 1.
Lippert is a five-star recruit, according to TennisRecruiting.net. He is ranked No. 46 nationally of the top 50 players in the 2009 class, according to the site. Lippert, who has an overall record of 77-17 (82 percent), didn’t mention any specific schools but said he would be interested in attending a college program in the southeast. He said he plans to visit a couple of schools this summer.
“I like Ohio a lot but I think college-wise I am looking at the southeast – that would be really cool,” said Lippert, who wants to major in architecture. “I haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Lippert’s place as one of the state’s premier prep players is cemented.
Lippert won out of a field of 621 singles players who started the sectional tournament May 12. He defeated 13 of them from the field and all but one in straight sets. A first-team all-state player, he was the Greater Miami Conference co-player of the year.
His only loss of the season came to Cincinnati Oak Hills senior Chris Keck, who won 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 April 8 at Oak Hills.
“Wyatt is a great player,” Cincinnati St. Xavier coach Russ King said. “He can vary his style of play and he gives his opponent little to attack or exploit. As he demonstrated in the Kobelt match, he never gives up and can easily run off several straight games at any point in the match. Wyatt is in great position to repeat as state champion.”